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United agree keeper deal

By Graeme Bailey.   Last Updated: 15/07/05 6:40pm

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Stoke City have agreed a deal with Manchester United for goalkeeper Ben Foster, skysports.com can confirm.

Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson has decided that Foster is the man he wants to provide competition to Edwin van der Sar and Tim Howard.

Foster, who has never actually played for Stoke's first team, came through the youth system at The Britannia Stadium after joining from non-league outfit RC Warwick.

It was during loan spells with Bristol City and last season with Wrexham that Foster showed his true credentials.

Now a deal understood to be worth over £1 million is in place.

Foster is expected at United's training complex at Carrington over the next 48 hours to complete the formalities.

"Ben is delighted that a deal has been agreed," confirmed Foster's agent Lee Payne to skysports.com.

"He will now look forward to talking to United.

"It is a dream come true and he cannot wait to meet with Sir Alex."

While Stoke are losing their third choice in Foster, they have at the same time secured the future of their number one Steve Simonsen.

Skysports.com can reveal that the former Everton star has penned a new three-year deal.

Simonsen was being tracked by a host of Premiership clubs, but he has now decided to commit his future to Stoke.

He will now be contracted to The Potteries club until 2008.

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